Leather Memorandum Pocket Book

Among the curious revolutionary mementos that Capt. A. E. Forney, son of Major Abram Forney, has in his possession is a small “leather memorandum pocket-book”, filled originally with twenty-four blank leaves; also a “powder horn”, made by his father preparatory to an expedition to the mountains. The front, or opening sides, is handsomely ornamented with numerous small stars, arranged diagonally across the surface and around the borders. The back side has the patriot’s initials, A.F. distinctly impressed, and immediately beneath, the year 1775, the whole displaying considerable artistic skill; numerous entries appear on its pages, made at different times, and without reference to strict chronological order; brief notices of military and agricultural matters and occasionally a birth, death or marriage are harmoniously blended. On page 5 is this entry: “The first snow in the year 1775, was on December the 23rd day, and it was very deep.”

On the same page it is recorded: “April the 28th day, Old John Seagle departed this world, 1780.” On page 11 this entry appears: “May the 3rd day I sowed flax seed in the year 1779,” and other entries relating to the same agricultural avocation are interspersed through the little book. The culture of flax was then an indispensable employment. Our soldiers then wore “hunting shirts”, made of flax, to the battle fields. Cotton was not generally cultivated until twenty years later. On page 24 it is recorded: “May the 1st day there was a frost in the year 1779.” On page 22 is this entry: “Be it remembered the battle between the Whigs and Tories (at Ramsour’s) was fought on the 20th day of June 1780.” (Signed) Abram Forney. Had any doubt arisen as to the precise date of this important battle it could have been ascertained from this memorandum pocket-book of this distinguished patriotic soldier. On page 13 is an entry which, on its realization, sent a thrill of joy throughout the land: “April the 17th day, great talk of peace in the year 1783.” The definite treaty was not signed until the 30th of September following, and a new Republic sprung into existence.

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